06 May 2009   |   News

Scotland’s ITI to invest £7.9M in automatic diagnosis of chronic wounds

Grant | Investment

Scotland’s technology development and commercialisation programme ITI Techmedia has announced that it will invest £7.9 million in technology to improve the diagnosis of infections in wounds and the management of chronic wounds.

The aim of ITI is to identify gaps in the market and then select research that it can fund to fill these holes. It retains ownership of intellectual property developed as a result, with the researchers or companies involved having the right to take out licenses.

This latest R&D Programme will develop an automated system for diagnosing diabetes-related chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers, and will also be applicable to other types of wounds.

This is expected to address a global market that is estimated to be worth between £1.4 billion and £2.8 billion by 2017.

Currently clinicians use visual inspection to diagnose the status of wounds, a process which has remained broadly the same for centuries. There are no objective qualitative and quantitative data available at the point-of-care to make rapid diagnostic decisions.

Diagnostic tests typically require a fluid sample from the wound to be sent to a central lab, with a turnaround time on results of 24 hours or longer. ITI Techmedia aims to develop an easy-to-use, portable device that will dramatically increase the efficiency of this process.

The programme will draw on from expertise from two specialists in wound healing: Stuart Baird, Consultant at the Southern General Hospital and Head of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Glasgow Caledonian University, and Keith Harding, Head of Cardiff University’s Department of Wound Healing.

ITI Techmedia will call on a number of R&D providers over the lifetime of the programme, with D3 Technologies Ltd, Edinburgh University Division for Pathway Medicine, and Mologic involved at this point.

Terry Hurley, Managing Director of ITI Techmedia, said, “We have already interviewed over 400 wound care specialists in the UK, US, India and Germany and they have highlighted the critical need for solutions that improve wound diagnosis and management. We have identified world-class expertise in our R&D Providers and we believe this is an excellent opportunity to apply technology to significantly improve patient care.”

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